SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 49 of 58

cussing this topic with students. This always produces a variety of opinions on whether the artist's alterations constituted a "transformative" use of the photograph. One question I pose is, "Should Shepard Fairey have given credit to the photographer of the image he used in creating his Hope poster?" To further complicate the discus - sion, artists such as Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Robert Colescott, Richard Prince, and John Baldessari intentionally borrow or appropriate pre - existing imagery in order to reference parallel ideas, convey connections, and explore conceptual issues. This is another interesting and complicated 24 SUMMER 2018 SchoolArts A ppropriation is the act of tak- ing something from someone else for one's own use, usually without permission. Recently, a talented young student of mine learned about the pitfalls of appropriating when two of her paintings were juried out of a museum exhibit. In this all-state high-school show, the curators required students to share their source materials on the back of their entries. I sat with that student to discuss her experi- ence and why she thought her work wasn't accepted. She had the insight and maturity to admit that she hadn't significantly changed the images to make them her own. I was happy that she was objective and identified where she could improve and hopefully not make the same mistake in the future. A similar issue popped up in a recent media arts project where stu- dents expressed their views on immi- gration and identity. In these digital stories, I found that many students didn't use their own images, but appro- priated images that were readily avail- able within a few mouse clicks. Yes, our students are digital natives, but they often lack a basic understanding of the legal and ethical ramifications of using the imagery of others. Images and Ethics Today, electronic bins house far more images than could ever be housed in a classroom. Therefore, this increases the need to teach ethical behavior about using images by other artists, even as sources. It's important to teach students to take their own photographs for their work. This encourages them to embrace the best practices of profes- sional artists and also gives them greater creative control of their con- tent without any potential conflicts down the road. P O I N T O F V I E W CONTINUED ON PAGE XX. I remember my own high-school experience where my two art teach- ers had a huge bin of old National Geographic magazines in the class- room for students to use to find materials for paintings and draw- ings. This was perhaps due to my teachers' emphasis on teaching us technical skills. This is a common practice for artists—to draw upon published images to help them artic- ulate their own ideas and to create their own imagery. Visual Journals Another way of getting students into the habit of cultivating their own ideas and images is by keeping a visual journal. This encourages them to trust their own creativity and aes- thetic sense. This practice also helps them to avoid the quick and easy pitfall of plagiarizing when they run up against an artistic block. I often have students draw upon their visual journals for imagery and ideas when exploring media in class projects. I encourage students to work from life, to take their own photographs, and to use their journals and sketch- books to generate their own work. The more decisions they make, even in their source materials, the more their distinct views will emerge, enabling them to articulate their unique vision through composition, lighting, and design. Inspiration, Not Appropriation James Rees Our students are digital natives, but the ften lack a basic understanding of the legal and ethical ramifications of using the imager of others. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8. THE ORIGINAL K iSS-OFF ® Stain Remover Before you throw it away... try Kiss-Off! "I had gotten blue oil paint on one of my fall coats... I felt like I should give Kiss-Off ® a try and lo and behold no more dried on oil paint! My jacket was saved." ~Malissa Removes: Ink · Oil Paint · Grease · Makeup · Blood · Lipstick · Coffee · Red Wine · Grass Stains & More Ideal for Classroom, Travel & Art Studio MADE IN THE USA discussion to have with your students as they confront what these artists might be saying through appropriation, and how they have moved beyond the original sources, transforming existing imagery to create new meanings. Make a Statement While the practice of Googling for imagery by students or finding inspi - ration on Pinterest is not likely to go away, the important thing is to help students make their own artistic state - ments. A powerful statement from a student has the potential to convey his or her unique voice and vision. At the Heart of Art To mindlessly appropriate robs stu- dents of the critical level of engage- ment and exploration that lies at the heart of why I teach art. I look out into my classroom and see a variety of personalities, and I hope that they learn how to channel their own unique ideas, imagery, and messages. This really gets to the heart of why and what we teach students about art. James Rees is an art teacher at Provo High School in Provo, Utah, and a con - tributing editor for SchoolArts. james@ Advertiser Index Advertiser Page AMACO 52, CIII Bailey 4 Blick Art Materials CIV Davis Publications CII, 7, 14, 42, 45 Travel with SchoolArts 36 Kiss-Off 45 L&L Kilns 2 NAEA 13 Skutt 1 46 The SHOP Curator's Corner 37 Documenting Children's Meaning 37 Envisioning Writing 37 The Open Art Room 37 Perdo de Lemos, Lasting Impressions: Works on Paper 38 Royalwood 38 SchoolArtsRoom 38 Youth Art Month 38 Wouldn't your students love to see their artwork as the cover of our Art Advocacy Monthly Planner? We would! Each year, Davis Publications creates a planning calendar full of artist birthdays, holidays, quotes, and advocacy. In 2019, our cover will showcase student artwork that reflects on daily life through observation. Monthly Planner Art Education Advocacy Guide A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 – A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 Your Students' Artwork could be on the cover of our Art Advocacy Monthly Planner! Submit artwork and learn more at . SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 45

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